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4.7 out of 5 stars
Waking Hours
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2014 2CD REISSUE ***

Hailing out of Scotland as a sort of Soulful yet Indie version of the Faces - like so many I never noticed del Amitri's self-titled debut album on Chrysalis which came and went in May 1985. It wasn't until I heard "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" in the Summer of 1989 that the love affair started. I've subsequently bought maybe twenty CD singles by them over the years - because like Love and Money, The Bible, The Fat Lady Sings, Deacon Blue, The Big Dish and The Silencers - their B-sides were often as good as (if not better than) the album tracks. Now fans are being treated to a "Re-Presents" reissue series of their three albums on A&M Records - "Waking Hours" (1989 and 1990), "Change Everything" (1992) and "Twisted" (1995) - and all three 2CD sets come with heaps of those brilliant non-album tracks on Disc 2. Here's the beer-stained details...

UK Released 20 January 2014 - "Waking Hours" on Universal/Mercury 3753354 (Barcode 602537533541) is a 2CD reissue (in a jewel case) of their 2nd album first issued on A&M Records 9006 in July 1989. On the success of the "Nothing Ever Changes" single in January 1990 - the album was re-released in February 1990 with the sleeve used on this reissue (45:50 minutes). Disc 2 (51:02 minutes) gathers up 16 non-album studio tracks from 5 single releases - 2 of which are from 10" and 12" singles - so are new to CD. The mastering has been done by GEOFF PESCHE at Abbey Road and the 16-page liner notes (which feature interviews with Currie and Harvey along with press clippings) are expertly handled by TERRY STAUNTON.

Having had 4 whole years to craft his song-writing skills, lead singer, bassist and principal writer JUSTIN CURRIE has recruited new band members IAIN HARVEY (guitarist) and ANDY ALSTON on Keyboards and after returning from a small US tour that rejuvenated them - they signed to A&M with an album full of great melodies that were far more radio-friendly than their well-received but commercially flaccid debut. It's a sign of "Waking Hours" strength that 4 of its 10 tracks became singles - "Kiss This Thing Goodbye", "Stone Cold Sober", "Move Away Jimmy Blue" and "Nothing Ever Changes" with a further stand alone single in 1990 - "Spit In The Rain".

The original album was beautifully produced with an almost live-in-the studio feel to every track - real songs sung with real feeling. The remaster barely changes that (it's nine seconds longer than my old CD) and is truthfully only ever so slightly better. However, album sleepers like the rocking "Opposite View" and the upbeat "When I Want You" now sound gorgeous. "This Side Of The Morning" sounds so like Rod Stewart circa "Every Picture Tells A Story" - a massive compliment in my book. And it still stands up as a total listening experience.

And there's more improvement on the bonus disc where the B-sides have been given a right old polish. Disc 2 is extraordinary in many ways - there's at least three meisterwerks on here - the unbelievably rock-soulful and lyrically brilliant "So Many Souls To Change" which focuses on corporate greed screwing our world up - the wistful "we gave away our innocence..." song "Don't I Look Like The Kind Of Guy You Used To Hate" and the lovely yet distinctly Scottish melancholy of "Spit In The Rain" - released as a stand-alone single in October 1990 after the album (lyrics from it title this review). Fans will especially enjoy the acoustic strum of "Fred Partington's Daughter" which was exclusive to the 10" vinyl single of "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" and the ramshackle but fun version of "This Side Of The Morning" which we are assured was recorded live at 2 a.m. in a car-park somewhere (exclusive to the 12" vinyl single of "Move Away Jimmy Blue"). Both of these rare tracks make their first CD appearance here and are very welcome additions.

Never hip and somehow derided in some circles as a poor-man's Faces - I loved del Amitri with a passion. OK this reissue isn't going to set die-hard fans on fire but they produced a corker in "Waking Hours" - so here's an album and band that deserve major reappraisal and a ten-spot of your hard-earned. This cheap double CD and re-boot is a reminder of their brilliance.

I'm off now to grow some sideburns...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 September 2009
I know I'll be accused of being biased, as I am a huge Del Amitri fan but this album is brilliant. From Move away Jimmy Blue to Hatful of Rain, every note is amazing. I don't think I can find anything wrong with this album, maybe it should have been a little bit longer but that's all! I put this album on in the car when I'm going on a long journey and I sing my heart out, obviously tho' only when I'm on my own!! The last time I saw D A was in Birmingham about 5 years ago and they were great, really entertaining, such talented guys. Even the old man, who's not a fan enjoyed the show. I cannot understand why their record company dropped them but I'd love to hear something new by Iain and Justin.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 1999
Went to see Del Amitri in March 1990 live in McGonagles, a now defunct venue in Sth. Anne Street, in Dublin. I didn't really want to go. I only knew one song which is the very last song on the album - 'Nothing ever happens'. The Dels seemed to be perplexed with the crowd - come on they shouted. The only song anyone seemed to know was 'Nothing ever happens'. Iwas blown away and immediately ran out the next day in my lunch hour to buy WAKING HOURS. Some people say that on WAKING HOURS Del Amitri found America. I dunno. Their first album in good in an indie sort of way but this is pure listening. Nobody's perfect, and thats something that I'm sure she'll know. How many people have thought that when they are (insecurely going out with someone?) or you've been reading SOS when its just your clock reading 505. Justin Currie's lyrics strike a chord with us insecure people left on this earth - and at the turn of the millennium, I'm afraid there are quite a lot of us. His songs, on this album, on the perfectly produced Change Everything or on the grown up album Twisted, wrench the heart out of you, tell of love lost, on purpose and by accident. They are a soap opera to themselves. Buy all the DELS stuff. They may not be the trendiest band around, but they certainly know how to strike that chord in your heart that hasn't been struck since that girl you asked to dance when you were 14 said 'no' or that guy you fancied like crazy asked your best friend to dance instead of you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2003
Although I am writing this from a slightly biased view as a huge Del Amitri fan, I think as such I will try to give balanced review.
Although not my favourite dels album, it has a nice upbeat, hopeful feel throughout a lot of it. This is unusual for Justin Currie's pervasively cynical songwriting style, but it is typical of the way that the dels can carry on writing upbeat, major key songs which so painfully describe love lost, or not coming at all.
I think the best tracks off this Album are 'Kiss This Thing Goodbye', and 'Nothing Ever Happens' which are both tops from the back catalogue and also on The Best Of.
If you have never listened to them before, I would recommend starting on Twisted, a later album, mainly because you are sure to know 'Roll to Me' already, and that the material is a lot more accessible.
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on 25 November 2010
In late 1989 'Nothing Else Matters' by Del Amitri was everywhere, one of those classic, simple songs, with meaningful lyrics, together with a simple chord arrangement on acoustic guitar. As the way of the world Del Amitri and particularly Justin Currie's songwriting talents were lost by the late 1990s,(last seen on Songwriter's Circle on BBC Four with Chris Difford in October 2010) with Del Amitri finally expiring in 2003, which is bitter sweet when you listen to this 1990 release.

Plenty of good, honest songs matched with a passionate vocal, 'Move Away Jimmy Blue', 'Kiss This Thing Goodbye' (single release in 1990) and 'Hatful Of Rain' stand out for me, but I can say the complete album is a joy to listen to which is rare today.

Slightly better than contenders from the same era Deacon Blue, but a million miles away from Wet Wet Wet, with lyrics only Marti Pellow could dream about writing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2010
I already owned the Change Everything and Twisted albums, having bought them donkeys years ago. They had just gathered dust until recently, when I bought a new MP3 player and thought I'd load up some music that I'd not listened to for years. Suddenly realised what I'd been missing - there's very little around today that can compare. Great for singing along to in the car (not so great in Tesco!). Decided to get Waking Hours (for 3 quid couldn't go wrong). It's now my favourite Del Amitri album! Great songs throughout. So impressed that I've now ordered Some Other Suckers Parade as well. Give them a listen, you won't be disappointed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2007
Some four years after their long lost debut album came "Waking Hours" and only 2 common things are the voice and lyrics of Justin Currie.

Developed from touring their 1st album across North America, this takes a shift towards the mainstream by amplifying the guitars, adding keyboards and inserting choruses into the songs.

The result of various sessions (3 different producers: Mark Freegard, Gil Norton (later to helm Foo Fighters and Feeder amongst many others) and Hugh Jones), the sound is tougher than earlier but has still has the irony and wit that makes Currie that little bit different than his peers. Thankfully, there isn't a duff song on this album but a couple are less than perfect (tracks 6 to 10 is the weaker half of the CD IMHO), but present are a number of essential songs, especially the closing two tracks "Hatful Of Rain" and "Nothing Ever Happens", the latter being the band highest placing in the UK singles chart.

A good rocking release that hasn't dated too much as there is very little synthesiser and no drum machines here.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2010
One of the best del Amitri albums ever! It's fantastic and that's an understatement!

I recommend this album to people who are into music. There's so much crap around and this is different world to 99,9999% of the music out there.
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on 6 April 2011
Quite simply a hidden masterpiece that deserves to be much better known. Not a bad song in it. Everyone to their own taste but "This side of the morning" is an absolute classic and this is the best version of it - some of Justin Currie's other interpretations of it are too up tempo. A steal at the price.
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on 9 March 2014
Del Amitri re mastered = fantastic!
If you liked the original you'll love this, a must for any Del Amitri fan.
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